At a hearing on Friday, Judge James Redden acknowledged that the current level of water through four dams on the Snake river and McNary dam on the Columbia river, Portland, was too low, and endangered the salmon run enough to breach the Endangered Species Act.

However, the judge rejected a plea by environmentalists to increase by 10% the speed of the water’s flow – requested to further aid fish survival by lowering the water’s temperature and speeding the migration of young salmon to the sea.

Last month, Redden rejected the US government’s US$6B plan for salmon recovery, saying it fell short of environmental expectations.

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